WASHINGTON – Democrat Dennis Kucinich (search), who has remained in the presidential race despite John Kerry (search)'s obvious lock on the party's nomination, will formally throw his support to the Massachusetts Democrat on Thursday.
The Ohio congressman, who has waged a long-shot bid for right to challenge President Bush in November, will announce the endorsement during a joint appearance with Kerry in Detroit, according to spokesmen for both candidates.
Kerry returns to the campaign trail Thursday to address a conference of the National Urban League (search) after four days in Nantucket, Mass., where he spent time preparing for next week's Democratic National Convention (search) in Boston.
Doug Gordon, a spokesman for Kucinich, said the congressman looked forward to the endorsement.
"The congressman looks forward to appearing with John Kerry tomorrow and unifying the Democratic Party in support of Senator Kerry's winning bid for the White House," Gordon said Wednesday night.
Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for Bush's re-election campaign chastised Kerry for saying in a CBS Evening News interview that his vote for a congressional resolution authorizing the war in Iraq but against $87 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. troops and the reconstruction was not a reversal in position.
"That's not a flip flop. That's not a flip flop," Kerry said.
Pressed on whether he changed positions, Kerry said: "It's not in the least. I think we have to be in Iraq. What have I flipped on. I just think we ought to do it right."
Bush's campaign issued a news release with an excerpt of Kerry telling an interviewer in September 2003 that voting against the $87 billion funding request would be irresponsible and said the American people "will not trust the presidency of someone who wants to have it both ways on Iraq."
"John Kerry voted for the war, declared himself an anti-war candidate, said voting against the troops he sent to war would be 'irresponsible' and then voted against the troops," said Bush spokesman Steve Schmidt. "Even the most extreme makeover cannot turn his tortured positions into a record of leadership."